Posts tagged ‘tea party’
In the past couple weeks I started hearing a new term that I had to look up. I love new words. This term is “sedition” or “seditious” depending on who was using it and the context of the sentence of course. So as any other good internet user would do I googled it and read about sedition on Wikipedia (and some other sites too.) So before I do on my discussion about the absurdity and total idiocy that this new attack is let’s go with a definition of the term.
Sedition is a term of law which refers to overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.
The difference between sedition and treason consists primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the violation to the public peace. Sedition does not consist of levying war against a government nor of adhering to its enemies, giving enemies aid, and giving enemies comfort. Nor does it consist, in most representative democracies, of peaceful protestdemocratic means (such as direct democracy or constitutional convention).
Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one’s state. Sedition is encouraging one’s fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one’s country by aiding and abetting another state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to terrorism and public order laws. (from my handy dandy Wikipedia reference)
So now that the term has a meaning to me, I wanted to know what sort of legal standing the term has for prosecution or actual precedent. And here is what you find there:
In 1798, President John Adams signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, the fourth of which, the Sedition Act or “An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States” set out punishments of up to two years of imprisonment for “opposing or resisting any law of the United States” or writing or publishing “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” about the President or the U.S. Congress, but specifically not the Vice-President. This Act of Congress was allowed to expire in 1801 after the election of Thomas Jefferson to the Presidency. He had been the Vice-President at the time of the Act’s passage.
In the Espionage Act of 1917, Section 3 made it a crime, punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000, to willfully spread false news of the American army and navy with an intent to disrupt their operations, to foment mutiny in their ranks, or to obstruct recruiting. This Act of Congress was amended Sedition Act of 1918, which expanded the scope of the Espionage Act to any statement criticizing the Government of the United States. These Acts were upheld in 1919 in the case of Schenck v. United States, but they were largely repealed in 1921, leaving laws forbidding foreign espionage in the United States and allowing military censorship of sensitive material.
In 1940, the Alien Registration Act, or “Smith Act“, was passed, which made it a crime to advocate or to teach the desirability of overthrowing the United States Government, or to be a member of any organization which does the same. It was often used against Communist Party organizations. This Act was invoked in three major cases, one of which against the Socialist Worker’s Party in Minneapolis in 1941, resulting in 23 convictions, and again in what became known as the Great Sedition Trial of 1944 in which a number of pro-Nazi figures were indicted but released when the prosecution ended in a mistrial. Also, a series of trials of 140 leaders of the Communist Party USA also relied upon the terms of the “Smith Act” – beginning in 1949 – and lasting until 1957. Although the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the convictions of 11 CPUSA leaders in 1951 in Dennis v. United States , that same Court reversed itself in 1957 in the case of Yates v. United States, by ruling that teaching an ideal, no matter how harmful it may seem, does not equal advocating or planning its implementation. Although unused since at least 1961, the “Smith Act” remains a Federal law.
Laura Berg, a nurse at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in New Mexico was investigated for sedition in September 2005 after writing a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, accusing several national leaders of criminal negligence. Though their action was later deemed unwarranted by the director of Veteran Affairs, local human resources personnel took it upon themselves to request an FBI investigation. Ms. Berg was represented by the ACLU. Charges were dropped in 2006.
Now where this gets interesting is that Cheney, Palin, Beck, and the Tea Party movement have all been labeled as bordering on seditious, if not already being called seditious. The fact that the question the current direction our administration is heading and dare to disagree with it is considered a horrid offense. During Bush’s time in office let’s think about all the people who should have been brought up on Sedition charges then. Why was sedition not mentioned when the shoe was on the other foot?
This ranks right up there with you automatically being labeled racist if you don’t like Obama. Since when is it not okay just to not like the policies of the administration. The last eight years it would seem that the Democrats had ample time and loud voices to demonstrate their displeasure. Did that make them racist? It is time to stop the bias in these types of settings. It is not okay for it to be all right for the left to oppose the Conservative agenda but not vice versa. The rules apply to all even if you don’t like the message. I would also like to point out to the person who wrote this fine commentary, even if by some miraculous re-writing of law and whatnot your totally out of field comments calling for the arrest, incarceration, and execution for treason, sedition and conflict of interest of Cheney and other people you deem as seditious individuals, did you happen to notice that even if they were ever actually charged and found guilty your desired punishment for them is by no means, in no way, a punishment that was ever an accepted form of punishment for sedition? The obvious disdain and dislike that commentaries like this one have for other Americans and their right to have an opinion is just flat-out wrong. You are free to not like Cheney. Just like I am free to not like Obama, and to be clear I don’t like his policies. Since I don’t actually know him I can’t say I don’t like him. I can’t say that I would like him if I did meet him. And if you want to talk treason . . . maybe another time.
And for a final thought on sedition, just in case you want people tried on this – check out the Montana Sedition Project site. It is amazing what happened to the people who were tried and convicted there. But it is also here that you find precedent and court decisions regarding the law and acts labeled seditions. Since we know that in court prior decisions and findings create precedent for future cases check this out:
In 1969, in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the high court set forth the current standard for punishing seditious speech. A person cannot be criminally punished for urging the use of force or for urging that laws be broken “except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite…such actions.” In other words, mere words, unless intended to immediately provoke lawless action, and likely to do so, cannot be punished by the state. Had such a standard been in effect in 1918, no sedition law would have been enacted. (from the Montana Sedition Project)
Before you write and inform me that this was a case involving the KKK which I do not agree with, I am merely pointing out this ruling because it provides the basis for the current way cases of sedition are handled.
And just in case you were wondering none of the people or groups being labeled as seditious are inciting violence. In fact the Tea Party movement has been found to be peaceful, what you might say? They are NOT violent. They are just normal every day people who disagree. The fact that you would associate peaceful opposition as terrorist groups is immature, inflammatory, and an outright untruth.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free. Ronald Reagan
The women over at Smart Girl Politics wrote this and I thought it deserved passing along:
The principles on which our nation was founded seem to be deteriorating daily. Our government, comprised of elected officials sworn to represent us, has abandoned its sovereign duty to the people. Our voices, already muffled by the roar of a liberal media, are falling on the deaf ears of an uncompromising Congress. In an economic crisis created in large part by irresponsible government interference, it seems our government’s answer is more of the same. If big government was the cause, how can bigger government be the solution?
In the 1760’s the British Government began to use taxation as a tool to suppress prosperity and limit the liberties of its people. Much like our own, the British government abused its power and submitted, not to the citizens, but to the special interests and political gain. On December 16, 1773, American colonists decided, as have we, that enough is enough. In a bold act of protest, the Sons of Liberty filled the Boston Harbor with more than 45 tons of East India Company tea.
The Boston Tea Party put into motion the events that would ultimately lead to the American Revolution and on July 4, 1776, our founding fathers would adopt The Declaration of Independence. This document not only announced our independence from Britain, but it asserted our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In addition to these, the Declaration of Independence ensures our right to protect ourselves from a government that becomes destructive and to alter, abolish, or recreate a government that has ceased to fulfill the duties for which it was created.
In the shadow of failed bailouts that have been squandered away by greedy CEO’s and uncooperative labor unions, our government has passed legislation that will prove to be the largest and most costly expansion of government in history. With trillions of dollars gone and wasted, we have stood and watched the America we love slip away; the America that has flourished in a system of free market capitalism and thrived in a democracy centered around states’ rights, it is our duty to act. We will stand by and watch no more.
This Friday, all across this nation, “we the people” will be invoking the spirit of our forefathers and joining our voices in an effort to drown out the chatter of mediocrity. We will have a Tea Party of our own. In fact, we will have many. We will speak out against the infliction of a debt that will cripple future generations. We will protest the use of fear by our leaders to impose upon us their liberal agendas. We will respond to the threat of socialism that intensifies as wealth is seized and redistributed. We will reclaim our exceptionalism that sets up apart and provides every man, woman and child with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream . We will reject the class warfare and victim mentality that eats away at peace and prosperity. And once again, we will empower the people…and the people will prevail.
Here is the list of Tea Parties scheduled for Friday, February 27th. Look for your city and then try to go out! For more information on the parties look here at The Nationwide Chicago Tea Party site!
- Boston – Friday, February 27, 2009 noon, The Barking Crab Restaurant, 88 Sleeper Street, Boston
- Hartford, CT – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, State Capitol
- New York City – Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, City Hall Park, New York
- Philadelphia – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Independence Hall
- Washington D.C. – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 2:00pm White House on the Lafayette Square Park side
- Pittsburgh – ***May be postponed due to rain *** Friday, February 27, 2009 12 pm – 1 pm, Market Square
- Atlanta – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm at the Georgia State Capitol Building ~ Downtown Atlanta Washington Street Exit
- Fayetteville – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Liberty Point Resolves Marker, downtown Fayetteville, Hay Street
- Asheville, NC – Friday, February 27 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Pritchard Park, Corner of Haywood St. and Patton Ave.
- Columbia, SC – TBD
- Greenville, SC – Friday, February 27, 2009 6:00pm, on the banks of the Reedy River and on the walking bridge just west of Main Street
- Orlando – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm on Lake Eola across from Panera Bread
- Tampa – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Federal Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
- Gainesville FL – Friday, February 27, 2009 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Ale House, 3950 SW Archer Rd
- Fort Meyers Beach – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:30am – 1:00pm Bowditch Park, 50 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach
- Sarasota – Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Island Park and Marina Jacks, Bayfront Drive (41) and Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
- Nashville – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm Legislative Plaza
- Shelby County Alabama – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, entrance to Eagle Point Neighborhood, Highway 280
- Jackson, Miss – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:30pm, On the steps of the Capital Building in Jackson
- Cleveland – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, 1 Public Square
- Chicago – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am – 12:20pm at
Daley Plaza Civic Center, 50 W Washington St.
- Lansing, MI – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, State Capitol bldg
- St. Louis – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am – 12:00pm The Steps of Arch, Wharf Street
- Springfield, MO – Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Lake Springfield Park
- Kansas City – Saturday, February 28, 2009 10:00am – 2:00pm J.C. Nichols Foundation, 47th and J.C. Nichols Parkway K.C. MO
- Wichita, Kansas – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:30am – 12:30pm, Farm Credit Bank Building, 245 N. Waco
- Omaha – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12:00pm, Douglas County Courthouse, 16th and Farnam St, Omaha
- Davenport, Iowa – Saturday, February 28, 2009, 12:00pm – 1 pm, Corner of Brady & Locust Streets, Davenport
- Austin – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12 pm, Capitol steps
- Dallas – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12 pm, Victory Plaza at the American Airlines Center
- Fort Worth – Friday, February 27, 2009 3pm to 7pm at the Cowtown Bar & Grill, 7108 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth
- Houston – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am – 2:00pm, Fondren Green at Discovery Green Park, in front of Amphitheatre
- San Antonio – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12 pm, Alamo Plaza
- Oklahoma City – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12:00pm, State Capitol Steps, Oklahoma City
- Tulsa – Friday, February 27, 2009 11 am to 1 pm, Veteran’s Park, 21st & Boulder
- Phoenix – Friday, February 27, 2009, 10:00am – 11:00am, State Capitol, 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix
- Tempe AZ – Friday, February 27, 2009 noon, Tempe Beach Park, west of the Mill Avenue Bridge
- Denver – Friday, February 27, 2009 10:00am – 12:00pm Colorado State Capitol Building – West side steps 200 E. Colfax Ave.
- Seattle – Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:15pm – 1:15pm, Westlake Park, 410 Pine St. by the big arch
- Portland – Friday, February 27, 2009 9:00am – 10:00am Pioneer Courthouse Square @ the corner of Broadway & Morrison (in front of the STARBUCKS), 715 SW Morrison St
- San Diego – Friday, February 27, 2009 9-10 am, Just north of the Star of India on San Diego Bay
- Sacramento CA – Friday, February 27, 12 Noon, California State Capitol, North Steps, L Street, Sacramento
- Los Angeles – Friday, February 27, 2009, 9:00am – 10:00am, Santa Monica Pier
- Orange County – Friday, February 27, 2009, 9:00am – 10:00am, Huntington Beach Pier